Bow Churchyard, City of London

Design

Bow Churchyard, City of London

City of London

2009

Sympathetic scheme in the grounds of a historic East End church


St. Mary le Bow Church is an historic church rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666 by Sir Christopher Wren and according to tradition a true Cockney must be born within earshot of the sound of Bow Bells.

The scheme forms the central courtyard to a mixture of historic and modern buildings that surround it including the adjoining Bow Bells House. The space grew from an alleyway to its current size as a result of bomb damage during the war and is now a popular lunch time spot as well as a busy thoroughfare.  The design is sympathetic to the surrounding buildings and existing large London Plane tree which is a significant landmark within the courtyard. The churchyard also contains a statue of Captain John Smith of Jamestown, founder of Virginia and a former parishioner of the church.The scheme de-clutters the space and provides seating without impeding pedestrian movement. Bow Churchyard lies within the Ward of Cordwainer, and the paving design was influenced by the ‘Mesquita’ in Cordoba and the linked history of shoemaking.  The project was Commended in  The Company of Chartered Architects New City Architecture Awards 2010.